Led by president Brandy Ellzey, the now experienced KeyFest crew is already finalizing plans for this year’s event. The venue at Gateway Park will remain the same, but a new, earlier date of June 19-21 will help avoid conflicts with other fairs and local events as well as provide cooler springtime weather.

Original founding members, Key Peninsula Business Association and Key Peninsula Civic Center, have withdrawn. Key Peninsula Fair, still referred to as KeyFest, has become an independent organization. There are more voting members and committee chairs with many family members involved. There is still room for more people to help on committees. Meetings are open to the general public.

Ellzey explained that the organization has received $4,500 so far but will need many more donations to offset the $20,000 cost to bring in power. Paying $75 an hour for Washington State Patrol to control traffic adds to the outflow of funds.

Carnival rides will be back by popular demand. They are the main reason KeyFest was moved to Gateway Park. Additional expenses for power and traffic control are offset by the advantage of having the rides, Ellzey said. Attendance has been much greater since the move, drawing crowds from Purdy, Gig Harbor and Mason County, in addition to KP residents.

The one new committee member, Scott Sherman, is overseeing the beer garden. There will be car and motorcycle shows again this year and entertainers are being lined up for the main stage.

KeyFest meetings are scheduled for the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting will be on Feb. 4. The fair needs people and financial support. Plenty of help will also be necessary during the week of the fair. Help from anyone 16 and older will be appreciated, planners said.

Organizers are looking for Friends of the Fair: individuals, businesses or organizations willing to make large or small donations anonymously. Sponsors can give small or big contributions. Larger donations help keep admission fees down.

Vendors are needed, including artisans and crafters. Early-bird booth rates include a 20 percent discount if registered by Feb. 28. Prices vary depending on electricity. Booths are 10 by 10 feet or 10 by 20. Kim Bauer is in charge of vendors.

KeyFest

When: June 19-21; 4-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: Gateway Park, 10405 State Route 302, Gig Harbor

More information: Call (253) 223-5467 or visit keyfest.org

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